Dear Stratovarius Fans
It is time to stop the silence and announce what some of you have already been speculating. Stratovarius is no more. Last October I told the guys that I am stopping the band and told them the reasons why. This letter is addressed to you, Stratovarius fans, who have supported the band for so many years. I first thought that I would write just a very generelized, typical ”music business” statement that basically never says anything. Then I decided that you deserve to hear at least parts of the truth what has been going on behind the scenes so you will be able to understand my decision better. All the time, since TK and Jörg joined the band, there have been tensions and negativity flying around. This has been concentrating on me, TK and Jörg. The reasons Jari Kainulainen was fired some years back were so absurd that I am not even try to explain them here. If I write a book one day, maybe then. Anyways, I think the seeds were planted already back then, something like 12 years ago. There were many confrontations, Jörg has been complaining to me about TK and TK complaining to me about Jörg. At a times it was a mess, although of course, it never would show outside to the fans. It is not my intention to disrespect TK and Jörg here. They are both fundamentally good guys. Things just sometimes happen and relationships go to directions we don’t want them to go. It’s like a divorce, nobody wants it to happen but sometimes it is best for all so everyone can continue their own lives. Plus I want to tell how things have been behind the curtains. You always only see the good side anyway, you don’t really know what is going on. We had amazing years, 14 records, 6 world tours with over a thousand shows all across the Globe, 3 gold discs, a Finnish Grammy and almost 3 million records sold. I have arrived to my decision after careful, long and rational thinking of over a year and I know it is the right way for me. I just felt so bad being in Stratovarius. Something was terribly wrong in there and nobody seemed to care. The countdown really started from the last Stratovarius album in 2005. At that time the atmosphere in the band was extremely weird. I had spent most of 2004 recovering from my nervous breakdown in April 2004 when I was hospitalized. It was at this point when things started to change. Jens supported me
immensely during 2004 with his phone calls. We then did that ”Stratovarius” album, which I think is an awful album and went for the subsequent tour production. By that time it was apparent to me that things really were bad. Nobody seemed to care about anything. I had the idea to use projection screens and for that, you need to produce graphics. I planned those and basically the whole show. Nobody seemed to have any interest in it. It was more like, the less the better. The atmosphere at the rehearsals was awful. Lauri Porra who had just joined the band was wondering what is going on with this band. Jörg Michael came straight from Saxon to this tour wearing a Saxon shirt during most of the shows. His attitude for most of the tour was extremely arrogant, pretty much towards everybody. But especially towards me and TK. And TK’s attitude towards me was lukewarm and polite, but I could sense the hostility. Of course we as professionals put on very good shows but it was more craftmanship and rehearsed performance than a great united band playing emotionally from the heart. I think TK was always very bitter about that he could not get his songs and/or lyrics on Strato records. I did not understand this really cause he had/has his solo band where he could do what he wanted. It took me many years to learn to simply tell him that I don’t like his songwriting and lyrics and that the main difference between me and him is that I am writing songs that end up being Strato songs while he is trying to write Strato songs that end up being Kotipelto songs, which means they belong on a Kotipelto record. It is not easy to say to someone that you don’t like his music. You guys and girls dont like all music, neither do I. Neither does TK. I am not anyone to tell what is good and what is bad music, but I do can tell what kind of music I like. And TK’s stuff just doesn’t do it for me. I do have to say that I think he has written many great songs as well during his solo career. Plus he probably would say the same things about my songwriting. We are just very different. He has a very different sense of humor than I have. Maybe the weirdest thing in Strato was that we never really were friends in the band. I visited TK in 12 years perhaps 5 times. To me Jens was the closest in the band and lately Lauri Porra, who is a wonderful guy. But none of use was really ever real friends. It might be surprising to you but that is the truth. The tour continued and Jörg’s drum roadie told me drunk that Jörg is leaving the band after the tour but he is doing the tour cause ”he is a businessman”. I guess you could say that Jörg’s attitude pretty much culminated what he said to me in Seattle on that tour. He told me that he thinks the band is over. We
tried to record, 3rd time, a live DVD in Sao Paulo but could not use the shootings because we played so badly. It was just plain awful. Although we rocked lot of crowds on that 120 date world tour, still the overall vibe was very much like ”going to work”. Not for me though. Not still at that point. But it felt to me that nobody’s heart was in the band and it was just for the money. The tour came and went, we survived and Jörg didn’t leave the band. But it was the weirdest tour I have ever done. Very succesful, but still it felt like forcing something. It was not fun. It was sad. The next thing I had in mind was to write a really fresh good old fashioned Power Metal album in the vein of Visions. I felt our fans deserved it and I felt it was the right thing to do. This was the infamous ”RR” album. The songwriting was flowing and the songs sounded really nice and melodic and very much like old Strato. I was all the time on my toes because of the situation in the band and I was anticipating difficult recording sessions. Anyways in late 2006 we completed a demo tape containing 10 brand new songs. I wasn’t too happy about the demo, but it did serve its purpose, to present the songs to the record company. I then booked 12 days from Sonic Pump studio in Helsinki for March 2007. This was the weirdest session I had ever had. Jörg was all the time talking about that we have to get the ”Visions hunger” back, although I don’t think he himself had that hunger. Nobody had. The session was nothing like the recording sessions before. Nobody had rehearsed the songs really and everything sounded pretty awful. I tweaked the drum tracks for a week and gave up. It was around this point when I really was starting to think why am I keeping this alive when it’s so difficult. I remember how much time, energy and money we put to Elements 1. There was nowhere to go after that anymore without just repeating the past. I do know that TK didn’t like that album at all, which yet again shows the difference between him me. It doesn’t mean that he has to like it of course, but to me Elements 1 represents the peak of the Strato evolution and perhaps I should have stopped the band already then. Last year, 2007, was the turning point for me in many ways. I felt better, but regarding Strato I felt worse. There were fights about everything, even about trivialities, which really annoyed me. A lots of fights. A lot. I had to use a lot of energy to try to get merch to Stratoshop, which was on the shoulders of Jörg and TK, because there was no merch for people to order but still they were ordering cause the items were on the page. The SSL
certificate that proves the site is secure was expired a year ago, I tried to get that fixed, could not do it because I wasn’t authorized to do so. The most popular items from the shop were sold out and Jörg refused to print more. I could not understand any of the things that were going on. At the same time, I was having more fun than in years with my rock opera Saana. When I was making that, I realized what was lacking in Strato: the enthusiasm, creativity and fun. It wasn’t like that in years. Saana gave me hope that there still could be something new for me to learn at this age and it gave me a whole new world of things and a start for something new. Plus I knew I had some really cool new Metal songs in the works. We did have 8 festival shows during 2007 and it was then, when I was standing on stage in Wacken Germany before 45 000 metalheads , when I fully realized that this band is over. I remember clearly playing those same old songs we had played so many times before and a feeling came to me that told me: this band has no soul anymore. I looked around and I felt like I am part of a play that has a script or machine and that there is nothing fresh and exciting happening anymore. The band sounds awful. Nobody’s heart was in it. It was just the same old song. Jörg worked at this point full time in artist production company doing tourmanaging and he was working at Wacken too. He literally came to play from production office and returned there after. Everybody was polite, on the surface, but there was no friendship, all I could sense were the underlying tensions of relatioships that had come to an end. I had felt during that year that the band existed only for one reason and that was the money. I had felt that this was the main motivation what kept Jörg and TK in the band still despite of the underlying tensions. While standing on Wacken stage to my absolute horror, I understood that also for me that had now become a reality. I was keeping this alive for money. It was then when I decided that I must stop the band. So it was during this show, I decided that it’s over. I was still thinking about everything but I felt that for my future, it was the only logical thing to do. I did not want to fire TK and Jörg because they are and have been as much part of Strato as I have been and it would not be fair to the fans. I then decided that it is best to lay rest what is already dead. I informed guys by email in October 2008 about my decision and explained in detail my reasons hoping they would see my points and agree what is real. Only Jens and Lauri answered. TK and Jörg did not even answer to that mail. Jens understood my decision, Lauri did
not. I understand him, he got a taste of what it is to be in a succesful rock band touring the world. It is not easy to give that up. He did fail to see my side of the story. That TK and Jörg did not comment anything really speaks for itself. I did want to finish the Stratovarius saga with style and naive as I am, in February 2008 I wrote a mail to the band and proposed that we would say goodbye to our fans with style and do one more tour. I won’t go into details here, but this time I did get a response from TK and Jörg. I wished them well and wrote back that I can see there cannot be any more tours with this band because of the hostile reactions.. So that was that. I felt good about my decision, but not good that out of legal reasons I have had to wait for this announcement for so long. Then I thought that since I have all these great songs in my hands, I wanna put these out somehow. So I contacted a few friends, we laid the basic tracks in the same place where the Strato RR session had taken place a year ago and it was just flowing. There was happiness. There was energy. The songs sounded great. My friends Michael Kiske and Tobias Sammet agreed to sing on the album. I decided to form a new band called ”REVOLUTION RENAISSANCE” which would continue the legacy of Stratovarius. In this first album I just wanted to release these songs finally so I did not have time to search for a permanent line up. I am now, so if you are interested, drop me a mail! The album comes out 6.6.2008 through Frontiers Records. I am excited and happy…for the first time in years. I can hardly wait what the destiny has in store for me with my new band, projects, songwriting. I am living a very creative times. I have my production company and I am doing lots of different projects and not only metal but basically anything that moves me. First I would like to, despite of all, thank Jörg, TK, Jens, Jari, Lauri, Tuomo, Antti and Jyrki for these 22 years. It was a quite a ride. I wish Jens, TK, Jörg and Lauri the very best with whatever they decide to do in their life and success with it. Last but most importantly, I want to thank you Stratovarius fans for your love and support and for the great life. We will be seeing each other in some ways, somewhere. You will always remain in my heart.
With Love, Timo
Tolkki's main motivation was greed
Timo Tolkki published a statement» on on April 2 this year. The other members of Stratovarius would now like to set the record straight. You can't argue with someone's perception of things, you can just explain how you see things differently. The confrontations, fights, incompetence, tensions, negativity, bitterness, hostility, disinterest, bad musicianship, and unfriendliness that Timo described were never there. He constructed this alternate reality around these simple and for him painful facts: 1) The band's momentum has been slowing since 2004. 2) The media chaos of 2004 made him lose a lot of trust and respect both within and outside the band. 3) Stratovarius' label Sanctuary had severe financial problems from 2005 on. It forced us to start a legal process at the beginning of 2007. If you live your life through other people's eyes, declining sales or a perceived loss of power are matters of deep, stinging personal humiliation. Other sad facts remain. The legal fight left us without a way to make a new album, and financially strapped. Timo's main motivation for what he did was greed, not issues of friendship or art. In the summer of 2007, he presented the Stratovarius/ Revolution Renaissance demos we had all financed and recorded to Frontiers Records, and signed a recording agreement for a solo project. Unbelievably, he promised Frontiers that he alone could (and would) stop Stratovarius from being active for the duration of the R.R. project, for marketing reasons. In exchange for this, Timo alone was paid 154,000 US dollars. He did this behind our backs, as we were deep in pursuit of Sanctuary legally with a large legal bill. He still hasn't had the guts to tell us what he did. We pieced it together from various press releases of his and scattered email correspondence. In October he sent us a mail saying he didn't want to continue, a quite impersonal way after having been in the same band for 12 years. He explained that he was tired of Stratovarius, and would
concentrate on things like his opera. We had known for some time he really hated playing live. He did not mention anything about his Frontiers deal, which placed the rest of us at great financial risk. He very clearly asked that we wouldn't contact him and try to talk him out of it, which we all respected. He would later make much of the fact that nobody tried to talk him out of it. This year, Sanctuary agreed to settle, but Timo's announcement and Timo's announcement alone ruined that, leaving us with a debt of 54,000 US dollars. The total loss is around 346,000 US dollars. There was no reason for the timing of his announcement other than some foolish belief it would make the promotion of Timo's project record a bit easier. What he did to the rest of us was stupid, selfish and more than disappointing to us since we all stood shoulder to shoulder with him financially in 2004. Then late January, surprisingly, he proposed us playing as hired guns on R.R. (turning it into a Stratovarius record), and doing a tour with Jari on bass. Apparently he again had financial problems due to his failed opera project. He then quickly dismissed the idea himself. In short it's not so much a story of simmering discontent leading to a wise and respectable decision. It's definitely not a story of naivité. It's the story of Faust, the story of madness, of a band's natural and slow decline, but in the end something mundane: the story of a supreme narcissist going broke and betraying friends of 12 years who helped save him a few years earlier. Hopefully this explains the situation a little bit. Sorry if it is long on business crap, and short on humor or music. This was a terrible, disaapointing blow to us. We would like to thank our fans who make it all worth it, and despite it all, we would like to thank Timo for the past, the nice music and the good moments. The rest of us want to make clear that we are doing great and that we will continue making music together, because we care about each other and we care about our fans. We have grand plans indeed, and we will have some very interesting news in the months ahead! -TK JM JJ LPthe remaining members of Stratovarius
Sr. Member Wed May 07, 2008 11:00 pm
I am very surprised about this. But my original statement in www.timotolkki.com is still all I have to say about this. There are several outright lies in the Strato statement and it is also clearly written by Jens alone. I will make some comments about these here: "If you live your life through other people's eyes, declining sales or a perceived loss of power are matters of deep, stinging personal humiliation." Well I dont really live my life through anybody else's eyes. Neither I felt "stinging personal humiliation". I felt sad. "Other sad facts remain. The legal fight left us without a way to make a new album, and financially strapped. Timo's main motivation for what he did was greed, not issues of friendship or art." My main motivation was not greed, it was what you can read in my statement. It's true of course that my decision was a hard one and left others on their own. But sometimes in life you have to make decisions based on your own well being and what you want to do. All the guys have a stable income from other sources, Jörg is running a booking agency, Kotipelto has his own band and record label, Jens has a record label with his brother and Lauri has loads of work as a bassist. By the way, just yesterday Lauri sent me
an SMS where he was inetersted n joining RR and he was asking questions about who will be playing in it. "In the summer of 2007, he presented the Stratovarius/ Revolution Renaissance demos we had all financed and recorded to Frontiers Records, and signed a recording agreement for a solo project. Unbelievably, he promised Frontiers that he alone could (and would) stop Stratovarius from being active for the duration of the R.R. project, for marketing reasons. In exchange for this, Timo alone was paid 154,000 US dollars." I didnt present any Stratovarius demos to Frontiers at that point. Btw I paid for those demos and I mixed them without any fee in Sonic Pump studio, which alone would cost 1000€. The contract was signed after I broke Strato. There were 2 contracts: One for Saana, my solo album and one for RR. I of course felt no obligation to tell anything about my personal life/business to people whom I have left behind. Why should I do that? Frontiers demanded the Stratovarius clause because they probably thought that I might put Strato back again. It simply says that as long as RR contract is valid and active, there cannot be any Strato records, which was totally okay for me since the band was already broken up. Why should that be a problem? The money I dont comment other than that's a blatant lie. So to make is clear: First I broke up Strato and finished my Opera and then I started thinking about forming a new band. "He did this behind our backs, as we were deep in pursuit of Sanctuary legally with a large legal bill. He
still hasn't had the guts to tell us what he did. We pieced it together from various press releases of his and scattered email correspondence." Again, these were my personal business things after the Stratovarius was already broken up. So nothing behind anybody's back. "In October he sent us a mail saying he didn't want to continue, a quite impersonal way after having been in the same band for 12 years. He explained that he was tired of Stratovarius, and would concentrate on things like his opera. We had known for some time he really hated playing live." Another lie. The mail was extremely long and I asked them to come back to me after reading it. At that point I did and was concentrating in my opera. There was no plans of RR at this point. I was fully in the production of my Saana opera. I told in the mail the same reasons I am telling in my www.timotolkki.com statement. "He did not mention anything about his Frontiers deal, which placed the rest of us at great financial risk. He very clearly asked that we wouldn't contact him and try to talk him out of it, which we all respected. He would later make much of the fact that nobody tried to talk him out of it." I could not mention anything about the Frontiers deal because there was no Frontiers deal at this point. I for sure didnt want "anybody to talk me out of it". Why would I want to do that after I just broke up the band? And Jens has all the time been sending me emails and we have been talking on the phone with very friendly terms. Now I see that this all has
been just a big lie. "This year, Sanctuary agreed to settle, but Timo's announcement and Timo's announcement alone ruined that, leaving us with a debt of 54,000 US dollars. The total loss is around 346,000 US dollars. There was no reason for the timing of his announcement other than some foolish belief it would make the promotion of Timo's project record a bit easier." Yes, this is very unfortunate, but Jens is making a mistake by assuming that RR is a project. It is a band as everyone can see: I am looking for musicians. I waited as long as I possibly could in announcing the RR band, but the reason why the legal case did not succeed was that Strato management and lawyer could not get us out of the deal although they had ONE AND A HALF years time to do that. That is a very bad peformance for a simple case if the record company takes the option or not. I was not informed about anything at this point about the legal case although I was asking constantly. So I had no choice, but I waited to the very last day I could before the announcement. And also, all those losses and legal costs are my concern as well... And I knew that if I would release RR without telling about Stratovarius break up, everybody would just take it as a project, which it is not. So these are the reasons for announcing the split before the RR release. There are lot of business talk here and money figures and that anger "Faustian greedy narcist". Maybe you compare my statement to this one... "Then late January, surprisingly, he proposed us
playing as hired guns on R.R. (turning it into a Stratovarius record), and doing a tour with Jari on bass. Apparently he again had financial problems due to his failed opera project. He then quickly dismissed the idea himself." This is a lie. I asked them if they would like to do a farewell tour of Stratovarius, as I have explained in my statement. It was nothing to do with financials, but as a respect towards Stratovarius fans. My Opera wasn't even out yet, so how could it have failed at that point? It is now taking off nicely and I am happy. I dismissed the idea of farewell tour, that Jens was happy about, but Kotipelto and Jörg in a very hostile way rejected. "In short it's not so much a story of simmering discontent leading to a wise and respectable decision. It's definitely not a story of naivité. It's the story of Faust, the story of madness, of a band's natural and slow decline, but in the end something mundane: the story of a supreme narcissist going broke and betraying friends of 12 years who helped save him a few years earlier". Well I've never been called a Faust before so at least that's a new one. I don't consider that I have betrayed anyone, but that I have stayed true to myself and my beliefs. Also from the very beginning I shared all the income from every source equally between all the band members. That doesnt sound like greed to me. Bitter it does sound. It is not a story of Faust, it is a story of a rock band and this statement verifies all those things I am
writing in my statement. There is hate. There is tension. All those things were and are still there. The statement ends "the remaining members of Stratovarius". Although I own the name and all the rights to that, I have no problem if the guys want to continue the band without me. I am very happy with RR getting interesting fresh musicians and doing loads of creative stuff in my life. Too bad it had to end this way.
May 08, 2008 10:23 am Timo Tolkki
I really have no way of knowing as I have two conflicting stories and both them seem somewhat embellished. TT: Yes, but this is the KEY question. Well, (as you can see from the guys' reaction) your business plans and the band's business plans were very much interrelated. After all, you were the main figure in the band. You should also note that you single-handedly (and abruptly) decided to broke the band up even though the band was in the middle of a legal process and had considerable monetary problems to solve. You made your own decision without disclosing your own plans with the others, thus I think it is completely natural that they feel betrayed even if that wasn't your intention. TT: No they were not. Strato's business structure was completely in the hands of the management.
The legal process was lenghty and ridicilous. I wasnt informed about anything although I asked constantly. So finally after breaking the band, I had to come to public with it. And as I reminded, I did this by knowing that I TOO have to pay those legal costs. To lower to the level of calling me "greedy narcistic faust" is just..well..sad. I sense that they feel they've been left in a difficult situation without a proper explanation/discussion. In other words, they feel you've been operating behind their back. TT: After I informed them in Oct, there was nothing to explain. I explained everything back then what was to explain. There were no plans of new band at that point. Just incredible tension and sadness. Do you tell your old wife that you cannot even talk to about your "plans"? As an outsider to the situation, I feel the chaos made you lose a lot of credibility and respect both within and outside the band. Like many, I believe that the media chaos (Miss K. etc.) contributed to Jari leaving the band (of course he had other reasons as well). A lot of fans were also very upset about your eccentric actions. Of course, these are just my interpretations and possibly do not fully reflect reality. TT: As you very well know, unfortunately THAT kind of things are what people are really interested about. Not about the things that I write such as love, peace and tolerance.
Jari didnt leave the band, I fired him because for him things like hockey games and bicycling were always more important than Strato. Sometimes he didnt show up to recording sessions and didnt bother to call. The last straw was when he demanded that he will bring his girlfriend to the whole tour. It was like John and Yoko. When he was recording his bass, she was sitting next to him. Everybody in the band agreed that this is too much. I got tired of it and saw Lauri Porra being the great replacement. PS. Many "soap operas" are planned by the managements and you really should not believe all what you read and make assumptions about a person. I am just saying that there was more to that than you think....
As you see, it has been mainly about the money after 2004...
Well, the band is a group of professional musicians, meaning that that's how they make a living. If the band (e.g. Stratovarius) has hundreds of thousand to pay in lawyer’s fees, then money certainly is an issue not to be passed.[/quote] TT: Yes it wasnt that what I meant. I meant that if thats the ONLY reason, then I dont wanna be a part of it. And as I said, I have to pay my share of those legal costs too. Now everybody is free to do what they want with their talents. But I will not spend this precious life in an environment that is destructive and negative for me.
May 09, 2008
from blabbermouth: This was just too yummy not to comment on!!! I love it when crazy people try to sound normal and sane! Firstly... why on earth would all four of them just blatantly LIE about anything? They have nothing to lose by telling the truth as they see it? The only person who has to lose here is you, Timo. Why are you "very suprised" about all of this? I mean, your statement about breaking the brand breaking up RUINED the settlement. You expected people to perhaps pat you on the back and line up to give you some nice, juicy blowjobs and say "well done!! we didnt want or need that money anyways!!" Well, you are a crazy person.. so maybe that is what you expected. Secondly, just for shits and giggles... I wanted to point out how you lied about getting stabbed and beaten up for publicity that one time. Members of the band had to lie to cover up how bat shit fucking insane you really are. Maybe you'll get lucky and get stabbed for REAL right before the RR release and you use that to your promotional advantage once again. Who knows? All this stuff about "it's my personal business, it's my personal business... yak yak yak whine whine blah". When your "personal business" (which is including, but not limited to hiring prostitutes on several occasions... which isnt related to what i'm saying, but i think it should be noted.) When your personal business starts fucking with 4 other people's (friends, even) lives... then it becomes not-sopersonal. The truth here is, you're willing to steam roll over others to meet your own self-satisfying ends. You kind of just err... proved that point yourself. OOOOOoooooooOOOOoooo and if i remember correctly you DONT own the band name, one of the REAL original members do, and you dont even own the catalog now because that's also something you LOST the band when you made your "strato is over statement." Ouchy... I cant wait for your insane cottage-cheese textured
ass/head (it seems you think with the former, so we'll use these terms as being interchangeable) to self destruct and explode in a cottage-cheesy orgy of insanity. Oh BTW i loooovvvvee this quote from you "But sometimes in life you have to make decisions based on your own well being and what you want to do." REALLY?!?!?!?!?! Ok well if the other four guys had been functioning on the same principle as you're using then they would have ditched your insane ass when you had your mental break down and were in the hospital. You put them though an emotional ringer and they STILL stood by you. And for you to fuck them up the ass after what they've stood by you though makes you a very tiny tiny person, it makes you a user. One day you're going to wake up and you'll realize nobody fucking likes you. And you'll wonder why, but all you'll have to do is look back on how you've treated people, in strato and otherwise, who have supported you... and you'll have your answer. Cheers Timo, you fat fucking waste of humanity.
Timo Tolkki May 09, 2008 Look at that hate. This girl is called Erin by the way. She destroyed the marriage of Jens and at progpower first fucked Jens for 3 days and then came to me and gave me a (bad) blowjob. But such a hate..wow. I didnt know Im insane, Ive bee very sane for the last 3 years living very calm and productive life and Im happy:) So I leave you to your fights here and maybe see some of you somewhere somehow. And Erin, I still have those naked pics of you that you sent me and which I forwaded to for example Hammerfall guys:) Nice 22 year old, but a bit too fat ass, but I guess you get rid of it if you try Byee!
08 may 2008, 00:00 AWAY FOR AWHILE AND SOME THOUGHTS Just wanted to let you know, that I will be away for a while. I need to get away from this negative and hate filled atmosphere of the last days.The statement of Jens & co hurt me deeply with its aggressiveness and hate, not to mention the lies they wrote to make it look like totally my fault. I have been very down the last days, so I need some time alone.I still cannot believe that it is not possible to go separate ways in a civilized way. My statement was in my opinion like this. From their statement, all I get is this enormous hate and bitterness towards me plus that they made it public even including figures there. Being accused of being greedy narcistic Faust by someone I talked on the phone in the last 6 months countless times laughing like before and making jokes, comes as a very heavy blow. I thought Jens was my friend.Instead of staying what I considered a very sick band and getting all that money, I decided to start from scratch without anything, even members. And knowing I will have to pay lot of money too from the legal costs, but that was irrelevant at that point, because I gave the management and lawyer all the time I could and 60 days before the release of my new band, I had to come to public about Stratovarius.So the greediness attack comes as a total surprise to me against the facts and also their lies.Mainly about the timings. The idea for RR was born and the contract singned long after Oct 2007, when I broke Stratovarius.Since it really seems that they will continue under the name Stratovarius, that I own and that I have contracts with each of them, I have to of course think what should I do? As clearly as there cant be Strato without Kotipelto, as clearly there cannot be Stratovarius without me. That was my band totally since around 86, ten years before anyone of these guys joined the band. I think there is something else behind this and I dont believe that they really will continue under that name. That would make them look like they would just want to use the bands name to make money. Why not start from the clean table like me?In any case, my first initial thought was to let them use the name, but now I have started to think that since all this hatred is projected to me and the obvious reasons to use the name would be just financial, why should I give it to them. Stratovarius was a band that I controlled in a very similar way than Tuomas of Nightwish up until I got very sick in 2004. The things started to be taken away from my control and that lead actually to the demise of the band. Do you think Nightwish could exist without its soul? I suppose it could, but again what would be any other point, than capitalize the name?With these thoughts I leave you now for some time and come back with a bit more clear head. Thank you for your support and take care of yourselves. Love, Timo